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Klaas Schuiling, Manhattan? (Montana)

Thijs Schuiling, St. Annaparochie

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 7.
From the Schuiling family to the Hoogland family.

Montana Febr[uary] 21, [1900].

Dear b[rother] and s[ister],

Last Sunday we received your letter and now I’ll start to write a letter to you.
However it is a little difficult to find some news for you where we almost see or hear no one.
My toothache became better, neighbor Antonson brought me last Monday some quinine and painkillers [ written was a not so nice word for laxatives, used to kill pain] from Bozeman and now it becomes better.
Also in that kind of things the Americans are leading above the Dutch.
Every pill you buy here, weather it’s quinine or painkillers [used was the same word as before], they all are like sugar-peas.
They namely plunge those pills into cooking sugar for a moment whereby a hard glaze comes on it, which is a pleasure for the one who has to take them.
We hope father’s head has recovered a bit now.
It is a pity that uncle didn’t succeed to alleviate this pain because it is a nasty pain isn’t it?
Geertje actually made you needlessly worry about Thijs.
She should have written that Thijs had a cold on his bladder and now his little penis has
Swelled but she thought it was silly to write that down, that’s where the misunderstanding started, so be reassured about that sister.
I am sorry that you don’t want to visit us, but it proofs that you don’t dislike Holland as much as I do.
But it’s true, a farmer isn’t a baker, Roelof will agree with that.
If one takes care he still can be a farmer, because in Holland one needs to have more brains to be a farmer than here.
We never get up in the morning before daylight; and when it is cold not before the sun is shining.
Of course I mean during the Winter months when the grain has gone and the farmer has no need to do something else than to cut wood.
Then we get up at 7 or later, drinking tea at ease and then I cut some wood till the coffee is brown and after that another hour till dinner, then a little nap, cutting some wood again, then an hour to have tea and again some time at work.
There is almost nothing else to do, and because the pit-coal is cheap here, 5 dollars per 2000 pounds, we also burn some of it too so the farmer and the horses can take their ease.
It should be a big pleasure for us to have a relative as a neighbor and I am sure that you would be delighted, but people in Holland don’t won’t to believe that things are so much better here.
But who likes to come here need to take care that he won’t lose his money there and then to start here empty-handed.
Of course it will be difficult then to get going here, nevertheless this is what happens with most people who come to America isn’t it?
Klaaske please tell IJtje and Boukje that when they like to come here, I’ll get them as much gingerbread and tart as they like.
When they should like to serve here I think they can earn 15 dollars a month immediately.
A maid-servant is like a daughter here.
Now I ran out of news it surprises me that I used so much paper.
Kindest regards for all of you from Klaas and Geertje and Thijs.

To Johannes,
Well Johannes, I should like to see you here, what fun we would have my boy, because there are a lot of high hills here, as high as the sea-dike and when there is snow one can ride on a  sleigh, which is delightful.
Ditch-jumping and skating is not possible here, but when you should be here you would get a nice little horse with a saddle like the constabulary and you should be allowed to ride on it every day and even ride on it to go to school.
I think you should like that very much isn’t it?
Suggest it to your father.
Bye Johannes, Uncle Klaas.

[At the left side of the paper is written]
They don’t call me Klaas-oom here [oom= uncle]

Dear br[other] and s[ister]!
With us it is Tuesday afternoon before dinner.
Today Kl[aas] went to Belgrade to bring a load of seeds there for one of our neighbors.
He had an outstanding day against Kl[aas] because he also helped us, but Kl[aas] should help him an extra day otherwise they couldn’t get the seeds away.
Now they have nice weather, the sun is burning on one’s back.
This morning it was very cold because it had frozen a bit and during the day it is thawing.
So you can understand what kind of muddy roads we have here.
I am almost afraid to get out of the house, it comes up to the ankles.
Women here also should have those large thigh boots like men have here.
I rather should like to have a Winter like the one last year; one can enjoy it a bit, then

[Upside down on top of the page is written]
We hope you all will soon be well again. We received the field mails and we read the ‘Bildsche Courant’[a Frisian newspaper]. Kindest regards from your sister Geertje.

One can go out on a sleigh.
There is almost no snow now.
Well Sj[ouke] and Kl[aaske] we hope everyone is healthy again when you’ll get this letter and that father’s head will be some better because it is sad isn’t it? That it won’t become better in his old days otherwise he could have a happy life with sister Jaantje.
We are, all three, healthy again but Thijs is today suffering from the same as some time ago and he is crying when he has to urinate.
So I have to see that I’ll get a wash-boiler filled with hot water when Kl[aas] comes home in the evening.
Then I’ll put him [Thijs] into that because I think it is nothing else than a cold on his bladder and the best remedy is hot water.
At the moment he is sleeping like a baby.
Since 3 or 4 nights, when I lay in bed, I sometimes can get  such a pain in my mouth, I think it’s a cold too and nothing else but it is very inconvenient.
Well Klaaske, you wrote me that I have to write to you if we soon expect to get a girl [meant is daughter], oh no!
And there is also nothing under repair.
Because of me Thijs can stay on his own for a while, we have a lot of fancy for him.
He nicely can play on his own with the ship he got at the party.
He already broke it into pieces, he is such a little ship-breaker, it is most of the fun when it can be broken.    
I should like to get him trousers on for daily use [probably he was wearing a frock which was common use in the Netherlands till boys became 5 or 6 years old] then he would be ready in a minute if one of you was here for a moment to help me one day, what should I like that Klaaske!
As soon as we’ll sell the oats I’ll be able to buy new clothes [for Thijs] I think.
How is little Thijs of R. and J. doing?
He must be a nice little chap now and will be soon one year old isn’t it?
We already got a letter from John Koning with his address and then we wrote him a letter too about everything here and then he wrote back to us again that he should like to see it here because he can earn a lot more here than in Iowa.
Now we expected him this week but now John didn’t come and also no letter, so we don’t know why.
Klaas should get him from the train we wrote.
Then I wrote to Jitsche and Arjen and Jitsche wrote a letter back to us, a letter from Arjen some in English and some in Dutch, we said there will be a little proud in it to show us how well he can speak English.
We were laughing over it.
They are still not big people yet, in May they should move again.
Then they were going to rent the land of aunt Nellie.
They only had 2 horses and 1 cow and no more furniture than I have, and that while Arjen was here for such a long time isn'’ it?
Now I hope John will come, I think he can get a job for at least 8 months and earn 30 dollars a month, a nice wage isn’t it?
[Hereafter comes the upside down.]

Dear IJtje,
Now I’ll write some to IJtje too, aunt always forget to write to you isn’t it?
I like to get those little letters  from my little niece every time.
As soon as Thijs can write he’ll also write you a letter.
Thijs didn’t get anything on St. Nicolas-day, because people don’t do that here.
But at the party he got a ship, IJtje.
Aunt don’t have flower-plants on the window-edge and also not in the garden.
When IJ[tje] will come here once aunt will buy flowers, so IJtje can take care of them isn’t it?
Bye IJtje, aunt Geertje and cousin Thijs.